Sunday, 25 September 2016

Lyn Paul and Blood Brothers

She's been voted the 'undisputed Mrs Johnstone'. She's been in the public eye since the 1970's. She is currently playing this lead role (yet again) in what has been described as 'One of the best musical's ever written.' And now we are going to witness this legendary Mrs Johnstone on stage right here in Derry in just over one week's time.
The international smash hit musical Blood Brothers is set to visit the Millennium Forum for a week long run from Tuesday 4th October as part of an extensive UK tour this autumn. Blood Brothers played its debut performance in Liverpool in 1983 and has gone on to be a West End and Broadway smash hit show.
Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited in a twist of fate and a mother's haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It's Not True.
No stranger to Blood Brothers, Lyn Paul returns to the iconic role, Mrs Johnstone, one she first played in 1997. Lyn played Mrs Johnstone in the final West End permormances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012. She has also starred in the UK tour of Cabaret in 2013, in Boy George's musical Taboo and in Footloose - the Musical.
I was delighted to catch up with Lyn just last week and have a chat about her forthcoming visit to Derry. Which also turns out to be her first ever Derry visit!
Just how does it feel being described as the 'undisputed Mrs Johnstone'? Lyn warmly tells me, "It makes me very proud and its very flattering. I'm simply doing my best." Lyn went on to tell me that although she was with the show from 1997 to 2012, now in 2016, she says it haven't changed and works so well. "The show is exactly the same as it was 30 years ago and it just works as it is. There have been cast changes but the show remains firmly the same."
She goes on to tell me, "It's a very grounded show and people can relate to all of it or at least to parts of it. It's about working class people and folk can just get it."
Lyn Paul has been a singer, actress (screen and stage) and now musical theatre actress. Just how does Blood Brothers feature in her life's work. "It's right at the top", she told me, "Mrs Johntone is the best role for me at this age. She's right at the top of my life's work. This show has changed my life."
Paul stands very firm in just how important Blood Brothers has been in her life. She's clearly very passionate about this role. So much so that she still cries on each performance of the last song, Tell Me It's Not True. Just how can she be so consistent with this emotion. "I just think of my son every time. He is now 27 and has travelled with me since he was about 8. I just have to think on him and the tears flow." I don't doubt that there will be more than Lyn Paul shedding tears on each night of the show's performance in Derry!
So is Lyn Paul looking forward to her first visit to Derry. "It's my first trip there, and yes, I'm really excited and looking forward to it. I hope the Derry audience enjoy our performance."

Blood Brothers performs at the Millennium Forum from Tuesday 4th October until Saturday 8th October. Tickets are now available from the Box Office, Telephone 71 264455 or visit Millennium Forum.


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